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Naoya Inoue smashes Nonito Donaire, wants undisputed 118-lb clash next

Image: Naoya Inoue smashes Nonito Donaire, wants undisputed 118-lb clash next

By Brian Webber: Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue (23-0, 20 KOs) says his next move is to fight for the undisputed bantamweight championship after beating WBC champion Nonito ‘The Filipino Flash’ Donaire (42-7, 28 KOs) by a second TKO on Tuesday night in their unification bout at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

Referee Michael Griffin stepped in and immediately stopped the fight after Inoue dropped Donaire in the second round from a right hand.

Donaire could have continued fighting, but it was pointless. Inoue had been hitting Donaire at will with shots throughout the fight, and he likely wouldn’t have made it through the second round if the battle had been allowed to continue.

Donaire, 39, was down twice in the fight, once in the first and second in round two. Both knockdowns came from right-hand power shots from Inoue to the head of Donaire.

The knockdowns were set up by left hooks, which stunned Donaire, making him vulnerable to the follow-up right hands from the 29-year-old ‘Monster’ Inoue.

Donaire never seemed to recover from the first knockdown in the final seconds of round one. That shot had Donaire looking shaken.

At the start of round two, Inoue went after Donaire, hitting him at will with shots throughout the round and not worried about anything that he was throwing back.

Donaire was getting hit too much for him to get more than a small handful of his punches in during the second round. Inoue overwhelmed Donaire with shots, hitting him with machine-gun fire shots.

Donaire got the worst of it when he backed up against the ropes, leaving him at the mercy of Inoue’s heavy artillery.

“I aim to be the undisputed champion. If I can do that within a year in 2022, I would love to stay in this division,” said Naoya Inoue after the fight, talking about his immediate goals for the future.

“If I can’t, I’m capable of raising my division and fighting again for the upper-division [super bantamweight].

“In the first round, I received a left hook from Nonito, and that punch made me wake up. I stayed focused for the rest of the fight. The last right straight, I didn’t know if it was the right one. I saw the video, and I knew this would be the one.

“In the second round, I knew that for me to raise my status at the top. So, I decided to finish the fight at this moment. I pressured myself, and I did it.

“Two years ago and seven months, I fought against Nonito Donaire at the WBS finals and came back at the same venue. You gave me the power. Thank you,” said Inoue.

Naoya will look to set up a fight with WBO champion Paul Butler next, but if he can’t get that match, he’ll move up to 122 and go after the champions in that weight class.

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